Can you interpret the poem "Festival" by Kenneth Wee?

The poem "Festival" by Kenneth Wee contrasts the traditional Chinese culture of the poet's forebears with modern English-language culture. He starts out by pointing out that during the festival the different generations are sitting apart and speaking different languages. He then goes on to contrast how the different generations perceive snacks, food, music, and images.

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The speaker in Kenneth Wee's poem “Festival” seems to be a young person. He and his friends sit in a corner observing the Chinese festival going on around them. They are surrounded by sounds, sights, and colors that they don't really understand. They cannot comprehend the talk of the old men sitting at the tables, for the young people do not know their language. They are “only two generations apart” from these men, their relatives, yet they might as well be worlds away.

Instead of paying attention to the festival or trying to learn the old men's tales, the young people watch television, and this drowns out the chatter around them. They are now detached from the festival and intent upon the images on the screen. Unthinkingly, they munch on lotus seeds, treating this traditional food like candy and oblivious to its symbolism. These young festival-goers (who are only partially involved in this traditional celebration) cannot appreciate any of the other special foods so lovingly...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1079 words.)

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